Bob Ley and ESPN UK’s Rebecca Lowe to Host from Germany
ESPN will present all of its 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup studio programming from host nation Germany, a first for the network. The comprehensive news, highlights and information coverage of the quadrennial tournament featuring the top-16 women’s national teams in the world (June 26 – July 17) will include pre-match, halftime and post-match shows, as well as World Cup-branded segments on SportsCenter, First Take and ESPNEWS.
Germany 2011 will also mark the first time all FIFA Women’s World Cup matches on ESPN networks will feature pre-match, halftime and post-match coverage, presentation of the national anthems and analysis segments.
ESPN’s award-winning host Bob Ley and Rebecca Lowe, ESPN UK’s Barclays Premier League co-host, will serve as tournament hosts. Ley will be appearing in his second straight FIFA World Cup event, just one year removed from ESPN’s critically acclaimed coverage of South Africa 2010, while Lowe will be making her World Cup debut on American television.
“Presenting the Women’s World Cup studio programming from site in Germany reflects our ambitious commitment to this world-class, global sporting event,” said Jed Drake, ESPN senior vice president and executive producer, production. “Bob Ley and Rebecca Lowe’s experience and exemplary knowledge of the game will elevate our coverage and how we capture the atmosphere surrounding the event to fans at home.”
Significant portions of ESPN’s 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup programming from Germany will originate from a mobile studio set, traveling throughout the country and originating from five cities – Berlin, Dresden, Frankfurt, Heidelberg and Wolfsburg – during the three-week competition. Additionally, ESPN’s award-winning features unit will produce vignettes and long-form features for television and digital platforms profiling the players, teams and coaches as part of the network’s planned comprehensive coverage.
Bob Ley’s biographical background:
Bob Ley joined ESPN as a SportsCenter anchor on the network’s third day of operation (September 9, 1979), making him its longest serving commentator. He spearheads ESPN’s aggressive coverage of breaking news and issues. In addition to SportsCenter, he has hosted Outside the Lines (OTL) since its inception in May 1990. The award-winning OTL series, which focuses on issues beyond the playing field, has evolved from a series of periodic specials to today when it is aired six days a week (Sunday – Friday).
Throughout his career, Ley has also demonstrated an adept ability to cover a variety of events as both a host and play-by-play voice. A passionate life-long soccer fan, Ley has handled play-by-play for ABC & ESPN’s coverage of World Cup soccer games – including serving as lead commentator for World Cup ’98. In 2010, Ley served as a host of ESPN’s critically-acclaimed coverage of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, anchoring the pre-match, halftime and post-match shows, SportsCenter segments, and the two-hour World Cup Primetime. Ley’s soccer work earned him the Honorary All-America Award by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America for his contributions to the sport in January 1999.
With Ley as host, Outside the Lines has captured 11 Sports Emmy Awards and three CableACE Awards as cable’s top Sports Information Series. Ley’s efforts earned him Northeastern’s 1995 Excellence in Sports Journalism Award from the University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society, together with the University’s School of Journalism. Additionally, Outside the Lines won New York Festival Gold (Sports/Recreation) and Silver World Medals (Sports behind Bars) in 2001, and a Gold World Medal (Sports/Recreation) in 2002. In 2000, Outside the Lines received third-place recognition in the Social Issues, Documentary and Sports categories at the International Film and Video Festival.
A 1976 magna cum laude graduate of Seton Hall University with a bachelor of arts degree in communications, Ley began his career in television as an undergraduate. He was a production manager at WOR-AM in New York (1975-77) and also served as public address announcer for the Cosmos of the North American Soccer League, and as a sportswriter for the Passaic (N.J.) Herald-News. In 1976, Ley joined Suburban Cablevision (East Orange, N.J.) as director of sports/public affairs. During his three years there, Suburban Cablevision won four local CableACE Awards for both sports and overall programming.
Rebecca Lowe’s biographical background:
Rebecca Lowe joined ESPN in 2009 as co-host of ESPN UK’s live coverage of the Barclays Premier League, working alongside Ray Stubbs. She and Stubbs are also co-anchors of Between the Lines, ESPN UK’s weekly, hard-hitting debate and opinion program on all aspects of football.
Prior to joining ESPN, Lowe was a studio host for Setanta Sports where she worked as a football presenter and reporter (2007-09). She hosted Setanta’s coverage of the Football Conference and was reporter for Premier League matches on the network. She also was co-host of Football Matters, Setanta’s Premier League studio program.
Lowe began her sports television career after winning the 2002 BBC Talent Search for a football reporter, from a field of 650 candidates.
At BBC (2002-07), Lowe was a critical contributor to the network’s key soccer programs – reporting from a top Premiership match every Saturday for Final Score; regularly interviewing and reporting features for Football Focus; and presenting a “Football in the Community” feature every Sunday morning on Match of the Day. She has also been a regular contributor to BBC Television’s Match of the Day 2.
Lowe was a reporter for BBC Two at the 2004 African Cup of Nations in Tunisia. In 2005 she worked as BBC One’s England team reporter at the Women’s European Championship in Manchester. She covered the FA Women’s Cup Final from 2003 to 2007 and the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany as a reporter for BBC One.
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